But when San Francisco general manager John Lynch approached Patriots coach Bill Belichick about dealing for Garoppolo, Belichick said the young quarterback wasn't available, according to FOX Sports' Jay Glazer, who recounted the story Sunday.
"Absolutely not, he's completely off limits," Belichick said of the Garoppolo trade request, as paraphrased by Glazer.
"So Lynch calls back," Glazer continued, "and actually asks Bill Belichick: 'Alright, so if Garoppolo is off limits, would you trade us Tom Brady?'"
Belichick's response: "What did you just ask me?!"
"[Lynch] said, 'I'm asking, would you trade us Tom Brady? You said Garoppolo is off limits.'"
"Did you just ask me if I would trade Tom Brady? ... Did you just ask if I'd trade the greatest quarterback of all time?"
"And [Lynch] said, 'So is that a no?'"
Yeah, John, that's a hard no.
Belichick, more than any other coach in NFL history, isn't afraid to get rid of some of his best players, sometimes while they're still playing at a high level. But it's hard to envision a situation where the Patriots would be better off -- in the near or long term -- by moving on from Brady. If that wasn't clear before, it certainly is now after Belichick reiterated as much to Lynch.